Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I'm Not This Bright

While I accept your high praise and hosannas regarding my getting accepted into grad school, I'm just not as bright as this guy:
A German 16-year-old has become the first person to solve a mathematical problem posed by Sir Isaac Newton more than 300 years ago.

Shouryya Ray worked out how to calculate exactly the path of a projectile under gravity and subject to air resistance, The (London) Sunday Times reported...

Newton posed the problem, relating to the movement of projectiles through the air, in the 17th century. Mathematicians had only been able to offer partial solutions until now.
My senior project at West Point involved shooting a projectile at an airplane moving at constant speed and altitude.  I did the computer programming in what I called "blocks", so that one block could be removed and another inserted as the program got more complicated.  I envisioned adding diving and climbing aircraft, as well as accounting for air resistance.  It would have been a "partial solution", but hopefully one good enough to bring down enemy aircraft.

I had no idea until I read the linked article that an exact answer was even possible.

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